MUSLIM civil servants caught having sex outside marriage have been evicted from government housing in Malaysia’s administrative capital, authorities confirmed.

Islamic officials launched a campaign to stamp out immoral activities in Putrajaya, a grandiose collection of ministries, wide avenues and subsidised housing that lies south of the capital Kuala Lumpur.   Sex between unmarried Muslim couples is a violation of Islamic laws.

Che Mat Che Ali, head of the Federal Territories Islamic Affairs Department, confirmed reports that civil servants were ordered to vacate their homes by the Shariah religious court but would not say how many people were affected.

“I can confirm that this is happening,” he said of the Towards Zero Immoral Activities in Putrajaya 2010 campaign, which already caught government employees in “khalwat” – close proximity between an unmarried couple.

“It may seem harsh, but we want the people of Putrajaya to know that we take this matter seriously,” he told the country’s New Straits Times newspaper over the weekend, adding that the department “used to receive a lot of complaints from the public about Shariah offenses.

Among them was that we did not monitor immoral activities around the Putrajaya mosque,” he was quoted as saying. “We are not going to be lenient with [suspected offenders] anymore.”  Malaysian civil servants, many of whom are paid only modest wages, receive accommodation, travel allowances and low-interest government loans as part of the perks of their job.

Shariah courts run in parallel with the civil courts in Malay Muslim-majority Malaysia.